Forty years ago today, four college students were gunned down by Ohio National Guardsmen at Kent State University during a protest against the Vietnam War. I was born in 1970 and this tragedy, alongside some of the other terrible events of the year (The Beatles disbanded, Jimi Hendrix died, Janis Joplin died, sadness everywhere!), has always been a frame of reference for me, a reason to be suspicious of the seeming effortlessness of the passions of youth and a statement of the ugly truth; life can be a giant dose of disillusionment and heartbreak. This country has changed so much in forty years, it seems almost impossible that the geography of the place is the same, that this is the same nation. But they still want us silenced, don’t they? A small reminder of this terrible, pointless act of violence, then, on an otherwise glorious day to be alive.
Ohio by Neil Young